Public Affairs and Policy Management

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Public policies affect every aspect of our lives. The decisions that governments make (or do not make) affect our capacity to respond to challenges like the climate crisis, inequality and racial injustice.

Program Details

Public policies affect every aspect of our lives. The decisions governments make (or do not make) affect the speed and extent of climate change and our ability to adapt to it. They affect society’s level of prosperity and degree of inequality. They influence our access to housing, education and medical care. Public policies also influence Canada’s role in the world and our response to global challenges.

The Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management program (BPAPM) program draws directly from Carleton’s research and professional strengths in the study of public administration, international affairs, politics and journalism. Examine current critical issues in society and develop the skills and knowledge to address them. Combine courses in public policy, institutions and processes with courses in political science, economics, law and history. Gain a comprehensive understanding of what government does, why it does it and how it might be done better.

Work Experience

  • Co-op: At the end of second year, students (with a B+ grade or better) are eligible for Co-op. Work in a federal government department, an NGO such as the United Nations Association in Canada or a private company.
  • Kroeger Policy Connects: In first year, this program will allow you to meet with one or more of the many organizations that do policy work in the Ottawa area and gain insight into how public policy works in practice.
  • International exchange: Spend one or two terms studying public affairs at one of Carleton’s partner institutions around the world.

Did you know?

The BPAPM is the only program of its kind in Canada and takes advantage of its location in the national capital, home of the federal government, foreign embassies and many international organizations.


Communication and Policy Studies

  • Concentrate in Communication Technologies and Regulation, or Strategic Public Opinion.

Development Policy Studies

  • Concentrate in Global Economic Relations, Indigenous Policy, or Rights and Human Development.

International Policy Studies

  • Concentrate in International Relations and Conflict, or Security and Intelligence.

Public Policy and Administration

  • Concentrate in Economic Policy, Environmental and Sustainable Energy Policy, Indigenous Policy, or Social Policy.
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Public Affairs and Policy Management professor, staff and students working outside of the Arthur Kroeger College.

Career Outcomes

Explore your passions, refine new skills and discover the career that’s right for you.

Make a difference in the world of public policy and work in Canada and around the world for a wide range of public and private sector organizations. Our alumni include federal MPs, city councillors in Ottawa and Toronto, senior advisors and policy analysts for federal, provincial and territorial governments, advisors for the United Nations, foreign service officers, CEOs of private-sector firms, directors of social service and environmental organizations, researchers, lawyers, and much more.

Student smiling.

Sample Courses

PAPM 1001 - Policy: Analysis, Implementation, and Evaluation

The processes of policy-making, implementation and evaluation. Forces that shape policy deliberations and alternative tools for managing policy action and policy evaluation. Theoretical approaches to understanding the origins of policy, and methods by which programs are designed and assessed.

PAPM 2001 - Foundations of Public Policy: Political Thought

Theoretical, philosophical and ethical foundations for the study of public affairs and policy management. Drawing from classic and contemporary texts in political philosophy and theory, students consider issues relating to the nature of democracy, civic society and social organizations, the public, public affairs, public interest.

Visit the Undergraduate Calendar to view a comprehensive list of course offerings for this program and discover the exciting things Carleton students are learning in the classroom!

View more courses for this program


The House of Commons Page Program has been an experience like no other, providing me with a unique opportunity to witness Canadian democracy up close and personal. Assisting in the functioning of our parliamentary democracy has helped me learn so much about public policy and politics, and has allowed me to participate in special events like the election of a new Speaker of the House. As well as developing my professional skills, I’ve also been able to meet 39 other incredible students from across the country and make friends for life.

Thomas, Public Affairs and Policy Management student
Public Affairs and Policy Management student